TikTok creators’ new dance move: flipping China censorship on its head

They’re filming virtual love letters with the Chinese flag, the national anthem, and hashtags like #ilovechina.


June 18, 2020

Move over, Lil Huddy. TikTok’s got a new crush – Xi Jinping, leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

Gen Z users are flexing their satirical skills with pro-China videos, hoping to turn TikTok’s China ties into more views and fewer restrictions.

As usual, sucking up is the secret to success 

The video app has been accused of censoring content the Chinese government dislikes, so users decided to embrace TikTok’s ever-ambiguous algorithm.

Make content Beijing would approve of, the thinking goes, and you get views galore instead of censorship.

These virtual love letters feature the Chinese flag, the country’s national anthem, and hashtags like #ilovechina and #noticemexinjinping.

Others are buttering up China to reverse shadow bans or the removal of their videos. One user posted a clip with all the pro-China trappings, captioning it “#ilovechina (ok but fr tho can I get comment privileges back).”

ByteDance calls BS

Despite all the buzz, there is no conclusive evidence that the lovefest actually pays off. A spokesperson for the company was quick to disavow the theory, calling it “ridiculous.”

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